China will reopen its borders for international travel on the 8th of January. The news has prompted a global dialogue about whether pre-travel Covid-19 testing should be re-introduced in light of rising caseloads in China. Bali is preparing to welcome back Chinese tourists with open arms after nearly three years of border closures.
The General Manager of Bali Airport has confirmed that despite borders reopening this weekend, airlines have yet to request to schedule direct flights from mainland China to Denpasar.
Speaking to the press, on Thursday 5th January, Handy Heryudhitiawan revealed, “In 2022, I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport served Eva Air, Cathay Pacific and China Airlines serving Taipei and Hong Kong routes. In 2023, especially for the summer period, we have not yet received confirmation from the airline serving [mainland] China routes”.
He continued “We can’t confirm when China will enter Bali because we haven’t received official information that China’s [direct Bali flights] will be opened. For that plan (8th January), we dare not comment because we do not have the data yet.”
When asked by reporters whether there will be any changes to travel restrictions regarding pre-travel testing, Heryudhitiawan said that he had not heard of any speculative change.
He stated, “The implementation of international arrival passenger services is in accordance with the Acting Director General of Air Transportation Circular of the Ministry of Transportation Number 88 of 2022… in accordance with immigration regulations, the obligation is to use the PeduliLindungi application, and the obligation to show a certificate of having received a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.”
@aaron.tuke Replying to @garrettbe getting though airport security in Bali! #traveltiktok #traveltok #backpacker #southeastasia #baliindonesia ♬ original sound – speedsongs6969
He confirmed that airport officials would continue closely monitoring passengers arriving at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. Passengers will still be required to undergo body temperature checks, health document checks, and standard immigration and customs checks. Heryudhitiawan reiterated that the security operation in Bali is a joint effort between authorities.
He added, “This has been coordinated between us, PT Angkasa Pura I, and related parties, such as the Denpasar Class I Port Health Office, the Class I Immigration Office for TPI Ngurah Rai Special, and the Ngurah Rai Middle Type Customs and Excise Supervision and Service Office.”
@jade..thorogood Finally back with the vlogs! Hope you’re all having a great Christmas and safe holidays ❤️ #travelvlogs #melbournetobali #airportvlogs #travelwithme ♬ How`s Your Day – aAp Vision
Many countries worldwide have re-introduced pre-travel PCR testing in light of China reopening its borders. Australia, India, Japan, the United States, and the UK now all require travelers from China to show proof of a negative Covid test before traveling. But many countries across South East Asia have not implemented such legalization, Indonesia included.
Travel experts suggest that Chinese tourists look towards more fuss-free travel options, which could work in favour of ASEAN countries that do not require pre-travel tests. Travelers from China do have plenty of route options to get to Denpasar, including transiting in Singapore.
One tourism operator in Bali told reporters that he thinks the protocols re-introduced abroad should be considered by immigration and health authorities in Indonesia. Wisnu Arimbawa said, “I think the policies of a number of countries in the world that require Chinese tourists to show a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours deserve consideration. We still hope that many foreign tourists will come in, but don’t let us go too far so that it will actually trigger [positive Covid-19] cases to increase.”
He added, “Don’t let us start from zero again when in fact, we already want to declare zero cases of Covid-19”.
The Head of the Communications and Public Services Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, confirmed that the Indonesian government is keeping a close eye on caseloads and that the situation remains under constant review.
She said, “We are still monitoring its progress. There are no restrictions yet, and we are continuing to carry out whole genome sequencing (WGS) tests to monitor patterns of subvariant types.”
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.